So yesterday was the first day in weeks that my family had no commitments, so there was a great deal of much belated yard work going on, with the help of Alaria's strong arms and Scott's chainsaw prowess. Many low-hanging limbs and storm-downed branches were cleared away, and the result was that a lot of mice and moles suddenly became homeless. While I sympathize with their plight, we got a rare treat to see, at dusk, what I'm pretty sure was an immature Coopers Hawk actually walking around the lawn outside the kitchen door, stalking his dinner while we were eating ours.
Later that night, however, things took a different turn. I was alone in the house (having been abandoned by Dennis who chose to enjoy a night out at a musical with Alaria). I was writing and listening to soft Celtic music and doing some much needed relaxing with the kitties for company, when the night was rent by the ferocious sound of claws tearing at the roof and the side of the house.
One cat immediately bolted under the nearest bed and the other, my huntress, began to pace from window to window with her back hunched up. I froze, not even breathing, as silence fell again. But just when I was starting to think that maybe I'd imagined it, the sound was repeated. Giant claws, tearing at the roof. So close and loud that it could almost be in the attic. Definitely not squirrels. At least a raccoon, if not a bear. Or a Bigfoot. Then silence again.
I must have sent up a panicked scream on the astral, because within minutes, two friends texted me. One tried to convince me that a mere doornob would be enough to stop this creature, if it was in fact in the attic. The other reminded me that I had lots of experience in the woods. After further discussion during which I absolutely did NOT exaggerate the situation, they both agreed that Bigfoot was a viable option and suggested that I flee not only the house but run as far as the west coast. There was even a hint that I might become a bride of Sasquatch.
Finally, my valiant lord and protector returned home. When I tearfully and tremblingly begged him to go outside armed with a flashlight and confront the creature with glowing eyes that crouched on the rooftop, he very succinctly said, "I ain't going out there." He proceeded to turn on the TV, which was showing nothing but left over Halloween movies.
So I took myself and both kitties to bed and spent the night with my head under the covers.
Upon reflection, I first surmised that what I heard was in fact an owl, attracted by the displaced moles and mice. But knowing that owls are stealthy and silent hunters, and that there are many around here and I've never heard sounds like that before, I'm wondering if maybe the Coopers Hawk returned. I know that hawks do not normally hunt by night, but perhaps this one couldn't resist the feast and was continuing to hunt by the lights shining out the windows. There were definitely TALONS up there.
I checked around outside this morning at first light, and there was no sign of ripped shingles or scarred siding or bloody corpses. However, I remain apprehensive. If this is repeated tonight, and there is no sign of me tomorrow, then you can assume that I am either being held captive by Bigfoot in the Wilderness of Westford, or I have fled for the west coast and am living in luxury in the Hollywood Hills in a house with a pink car in the driveway.